Organisational Narratives – Creating the Vision For An Ideal Future State

The future can feel like a scary unknown. A key challenge for businesses implementing a change program or innovation project is being able to project what a new ideal future looks like after the major milestones of a change project has been completed. How do you chart the course for a new way forward to engage employees, customers, partners and stakeholders in the journey?

An essential component to creating this vision is a strong organisational narrative – an audience-focused story of the planned journey from where you are to where you need to be… and the part everyone plays creating this new future state.

To create the path from today to tomorrow, a well-constructed narrative must not only define the future, it must also bring it to life. The best map in the world can only get us somewhere if we have a destination in mind. Similarly, without a clear vision of the future, we will never reach it.

The Future Is Now

As hard as we strive and plan for the future, it is always one tick of the second hand away. The future never arrives. It is always excoriatingly the present moment and the present moment only.

How do we plan for something that is always one step away? As we experience our present from moment to moment how do we ensure that we are moving by increments into the future that we want? By co-creating the story of where we want to be based on our direct actions today.

Co-Create Your Narrative

If you think of your organisation as a novel your narrative would be the title and the chapters would be made of stories from a cast of characters. The characters that come together to create the stories of the business do so through their work and roles. The stories don’t just come from the leadership team, they come from across the entire organisation. When gathering stories to create your narrative it is important to gather stories from every business unit and section.

To create a believable and achievable future to move into it is important to gather the stories from across the organisation for a desirable future. Collecting the stories of what is happening now is essentially understanding the place we are starting from to move into the future we want.

We run co-design storytelling sessions to collect these stories, looking for the best ones that emotionally capture the end result of an ideal future state. This is our primary tool to help an organisation identify, articulate and disseminate their innovation narrative, and then use it to create and promote key messages and produce collateral such as videos and communication materials.

Crafting and sharing organisational narratives, taps directly into people’s deeply-rooted need for stories. They enhance connection with employees and customers to engage them fully in your change journey.

Now that we know what stories we are working with, we start the visioning process. The process, simply put is finding the best story from what is happening now and then incorporating it into the new ideal future state. This makes the future feel not so far away, identifiable and achievable.  The emotional content, themes, and desires of today become the flesh that wraps around the bare bone goals of tomorrow.

Show, Don’t Tell

We have an end goal, we have a story that describes how this journey feels once we get to the end of it and now, we need to give it life. Life in the form of a video, a speech or content to deploy these messages over time throughout the organization.

Remember to show your story don’t tell it. First, we must define what ‘telling’ is. An example of ‘telling’ is a business goal portrayed as a dot point on a PowerPoint presentation.

  • Embrace new ways of working to create growth and cross-collaboration between teams to create new innovative solutions

Now let’s use story ‘showing’ to portray new ways of working in a story.

  • New ways of working is more than creating a Google-style campus with indoor slides and swing sets, it is creating space for well-being, mental health and flexibility to work your way. During our co-working trial phase, an interesting collaboration happened between our design and legal team. We moved the two different teams out of their walled separate offices and sat them in an open plan collaboration space. The legal team overheard the design team heatedly trying to solve a problem with signage on our new floor space designs. Tom from legal stood up and cleared his throat. He was able to step in and offer his knowledge regarding the size the sign had to be. This small conversation saved changes and extra tasks later in the project simply because the teams were aware of what each other were working on. This is just one of the benefits that we are going to see more of in the future.

This turns a mere goal for the future into a story of the future. It has a message about what is waiting for us when we get there. The message should be emotive, rich with details and feel tangible.

Finding the right story to ‘show’ your staff, clients and stakeholders the unique future they are moving into not only saves time, it inspires and motivates people to move into this positive future state. This is why story ‘showing’ is critical to make the ideal future state not only achievable but desirable.

The Future Comes Slowly

The process of creating the narrative of your ideal future state takes time. It is a process like any other and needs resources and time. Once the stories have been co-designed and set into motion, it becomes the momentum that is needed to drive and inspire change.

Curious about how a narrative can work for your innovation or change project? Email us to schedule a chat!

Why is ‘Just Do It’ more than a tagline, how is it a Narrative?

In this examination, I deconstruct Nike’s Narrative of ‘Just Do It’. We look at how this simple statement acts as a bridge between its external communications and it’s internal communication framework of Mission, Vision and Values. A good narrative does that for businesses. It unifies the vision of what drives people internally within the company and then invites their customers and clients through their marketing channels to join in that vision. This creates a seamless experience and places their customer center stage. Not only is ‘Just Do It’ a marketing tagline. It makes the Nike customer the main protagonist of their stories.

Narrative and Tag Line: Just Do It

Definition: What is a narrative? A narrative is an un-resolvable statement that drives a collection of stories forward.

Why is ‘Just Do It’ more than a tagline, why is it a Narrative?

Because it is a statement with no answer. It is open-ended and it is up to the viewer or listener to fill in the blanks.

Let me elaborate, if I said to you out of the blue, just do it. Your answer could be any number of things:

“Just do what?”

“For how long?”

“Why?”

You would have no idea what I was talking about.

But in the context of a story about sports or an active lifestyle, it could mean anything from –

Just get off the couch and go for a walk

Sign up for that Marathon

You can win this competition

The list goes on and on…

And that is the point!

This is how Nike has been able to use the same tagline for so long, it can evolve with the brand.

Simple open-ended taglines can also be a narrative. And a narrative is what lifts a brand from a product or service into a movement.

That is their external marketing. Let’s look at how that relates to their internal communication structure. How does the narrative work with the brand’s Vision, Mission, and Values?

A good narrative should be able to sit at the very top of the Vision, Mission and Values. It shelters them like the roof of a house and holds all of it together. Let’s examine the components of Nike’s internal communications structure and see how it relates to its external brand statement of ‘Just Do It’.

Vision Statement
Definition: A Vision Statement is a dream for a future.

Nike’s vision statement is ‘To remain the most authentic, connected, and distinctive brand.” The business continues to apply this vision statement to the way it tells stories and sells its products. This vision statement was emphasised in the corporation’s global growth strategy for 2015.

Let’s dissect the following words of Nike’s corporate vision statement:

  1. Authentic
  2. Connected
  3. Distinctive

Nike wants to be seen as real, have multiple touch points with their customers and be unique. This mission statement also uses the word, remain. This is key in understanding that they already see themselves as the market leader and in the vision for the company’s future they are going to continue to hold their space.

A good vision statement should represent an ideal future, a place that cannot be reached and should always be strived for.

Mission Statement
Definition: A mission statement reflects the day to day strategic plans that a company or business makes to continually move towards their view for the future represented in the vision statement.

Nike Inc.’s corporate mission is “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” The company further states that everybody is an athlete, based on Nike founder Bill Bowerman’s statement, “If you have a body, you are an athlete.” This mission statement represents the company’s strategic goal of reaching out to the global leisure and sports footwear, apparel and equipment market. The following main components are in Nike’s corporate mission statement:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Innovation
  3. Every athlete in the world

It is important here to note what has been left out. They do not mention footwear, apparel, and equipment anywhere. This is a wise strategic move if they wish to provide services in addition to products in the future. For example, smart sportswear with monitoring and feedback through software may be a core service in Nike’s future.

The point here is that there is room to grow and move.

A good mission and vision statement should not be revised every year. It should have enough room to grow so it stays true for the foreseeable future. It should be as short as possible so it is easy to remember and repeat.

For a business to be a truly powerful communicator it must co-create their future with their clients and customers, a cohesive narrative is what holds it all together.

The question now is does ‘Just Do It’ sit cohesively at the top of the framework we just explored? I would answer yes. ‘Just Do It’ does encourage authenticity and connection. If we look at the Vision statement it is inspirational and does provide room for innovation.

Want to learn more about how your business narrative can work for you? Get in touch for a free consultation.

Can Advertising Spend Buy You Love?

“Anyone can pay for something,” was a sage piece of dating advice I was given a long time ago.

Beatles might have said it best when they said –

“I’ll buy you a diamond ring my friend if it makes you feel alright
I’ll get you anything my friend if it makes you feel alright
Cos I don’t care too much for money, and money can’t buy me love”

This advice has served me well. So well in fact that I can see its relevance everywhere.

Let’s apply this advice to marketing. Anyone can spend money to get in front of prospective customers and clients with paid promotions. But no amount of paid advertising can buy love in the form of a loyal fan base.

Love is rare, it is hard to come by in any context in life. How do we facilitate it in the bottom line driven realities of the business world? By building trust and empathy by being human.

Digital marketing relies on data. That data is used to create content and content is used to create engaging ads.

Data is only half of the picture. The other half is empathy.

There are analytics and algorithms galore, but they cannot replace authentic human connection. Digital agencies tell their customers how much they need to spend to get in front of as many eyes as possible in their target market. This works for a while, but if you don’t pay attention to the other side of the equation, you will always have to pay for attention. And the cost of paying for this attention can eventually impact the profit from sales.

We use a different approach: we focus on organic growth fuelled by the stories of your business. Stories by their very nature build empathy, create connections and brand loyalty.

Let’s go back to the beloved Beatles classic –

“Say you don’t need no diamond ring and I’ll be satisfied
Tell me that you want the kind of thing that money just can’t buy
I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love”

You may hear John singing these words in your mind now. It is a story about how true love is worth more than a diamond. A story where without the underlying love a diamond is just a rock.

The same is true for marketing. Creating content that puts human stories in front of other humans results in a connection that impact business growth. Authenticity draws your clients back again and again to a relationship built on trust and understanding.

Focus on the love, even though it takes longer to build. And yes, sometimes it needs a bit of a push to get things moving.

But ultimately, LOVE is created by a connection. Charting that connection through the shared stories of wins from your clients and customers creates momentum. As each story emerges to complete the larger picture, the tendrils of connection branch out into the world. The protagonists of each story have their own fan base. Taking control of the narrative as it unfolds means that all roads eventually lead back to you. Connection can only build more connection. We understand this and harness this power for organic marketing growth.

Marketing communication is a delicate balance of organic and paid. We believe in the power of listening to your fans and telling their stories. Explore the stories you have to tell and then show them to your community; they will love you for it.

A Story About The Power Of Story

“Don’t ever underestimate the power of a story. Even if the story has to do with bacterial infections and chickens,” Josh Muccio, host of The Pitch.

The Pitch from Gimlet Media showcases founders of start-ups as they sell the story of their business to a panel of investors. This podcast illustrates the real-world application of what a good story does for a business.

In this episode, a scientist Amado Guloy is trying to explain how his startup Rex Animal Health combines farm animals and big data. His explanation focused on data, science, and numbers. The investors interjected every few seconds struggling to understand what his business did until he told the following story.

“Rex can reduce the risk of disease, improve the treatment of health problems, and ultimately deliver more animals from farm to table. I’ll just give you a use case of something that we did. There were chickens with a high incidence of really bad bacterial infection. And unfortunately, a lot of the drugs weren’t working because it was an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. So, we took a step back and looked at the data in total. We realised the ones that got an infection, got it through a skin lesion. Long story short, we found out it was genetic and the chickens that got it had that deficiency.”

The investors let out a collective “Ohhhh!” as the light switched on for them. That story explained why Rex exists, what it does, and now they’re ready to do what they do best. Start poking holes in the business.

We like to imagine that investors are only interested in numbers, plain and simple. But they need a short and simple story to give those numbers meaning. A concise story helps create the value of the business, especially if you are looking for investment.

Storytelling is really story-selling. Showing people with a clear story helps your customers, clients and coworkers will understand what you do and why they need it.

Don’t let storytelling be a struggle, join me at General Assembly in Melbourne on March 13th, 2018 to Discover Your Business Narrative.

Learn Storytelling: Set The World On Fire Like Elon Musk

 

With the launch of The Boring Company, Elon Musk shows us he is all about the underground, including his marketing. The Boring Company is developing high-speed travel tubes to help ease inter-city traffic. Also, you can buy a flamethrower on the site. Yep, a flamethrower with the Boring Company logo on the side. Is anyone struggling to make the cognitive leap between a flame-based toy and a high-speed car travel tube?

Want to learn to market like Elon? Sign up here for my free webinar on “Storytelling: How To Dream and Market Like Elon”.

What is this stunt with the flamethrowers all about? He is not looking for funding, the project is privately funded according to the FAQs. If a Flamethrower isn’t really your vibe, you could also purchase a hat with the Boring Company logo. I say could as in past tense, because everything has sold out.

Sold out. Yes, that is right, 50,000 hats gone. As far as the flamethrower is concerned it is $500 to place a pre-order. As to the total amount of pre-orders available, no one is totally sure.

There is a lot of speculation as to why a company that is ‘boring’ tunnels underground to solve growing problem of traffic is selling flamethrowers. At 500 dollars a pop, if they sell, 20,000 that is a solid $10,000,000. A fantastic way to crowdfund a project without giving anyone any actual ownership in the project.

So, assuming this all happens, what has Elon actually sold?

A story.

This is why Elon is an exceptional person. He wants to send us into outer space, underground and to Mars. None of these things have eventuated yet. But the fact that he is consistently able to sell the dream of what is possible and what is to come illustrates his powerful grasp of storytelling.

What does a good story do? It captures the audience’s hearts and minds. What is the story link between flamethrowers and tunnel-based travel? I cannot tell you. Maybe it will become apparent in time.

But the story he was slowly building with a series of tweets starting last year was all it took to get the ball rolling and launch the not so boring, Boring Company.

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 1.16.38 pm

He is giving people a narrative to go with the Flamethrower. A flamethrower on its own, confusing, a flamethrower with a hilarious ‘rumour’. Genius!

Elon is often described as enigmatic. A perfect character for a good story. A crafty tale that keeps you coming back for more, is one that is open to interpretation. If it is too straightforward with no mystery to solve, the next shiny story that comes along will steal our attention.

Will we ever know what the link is between Flamethrowers and high-speed travel via tunnels? Probably not and I am not sure I want to know.

In order to consistently sell the ‘dream’ of what something could be, or of what is to come, it is better to leave it open-ended.

This is the best way to sell dreams. Fire up the creativity and the imagination of the audience and then sell their own vision back to them. Even when the projects will take years and the combined belief of millions of people.

We must all dream together to make the future a place we want to live. Whether Elon’s version of the future is the right version or the best version doesn’t matter. What does matter is he is telling the stories of the future he wants to see.

In the future, marketing will be less about how to capture attention. The future of marketing is capturing the imagination. This includes broadening your reach with the city you are planning on building the first tunnel in. Local Politicians in LA are now thinking about banning the toy flamethrower, see the statement from councillor Santiago below. And in the process, more people in LA might learn about the large-scale public transportation solution. Well played Elon, well played.

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 1.35.46 pm

That is what Elon Musk is good at. Capturing the imagination of the masses. Getting ordinary Joes thinking that traveling to outer space is something that is accessible to anyone, not just astronauts. Seeing the power of traveling in a car through a tube underground. Living on Mars.

This will not happen unless enough people believe that it is true. The future is like Tinkerbell, if enough people believe, clapping hands is probably optional, it will become reality. Or for the more pragmatic, Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way, you are right.”

Capturing the imaginations of your clients, customers and fans is the marketing of the future. And a good story doesn’t have to be clear-cut. In fact, the keys to a good story are tension, interpretation and a clear message.

How do you sell something no one can see or experience if you first don’t sell the dream.

Want to learn to market like Elon? Sign up here for my free webinar on “Storytelling: How To Dream and Market Like Elon”.

What are you waiting for? The future?

The future is made entirely of dreams.

Start. Yours. Now.

Future Proof Your Marketing

“Strong Opinions Weakly Held”

This phrase originated with Paul Saffro, Director of Palo Alto’s Institute for the Future. In a discussion about wisdom, Bob Johansen of the Institute allegedly explained to Bob Sutton that to deal with an uncertain future and still move forward, the Institute advises people to have “strong opinions, which are weakly held.”

Grab a compass and map. Plot your path, but be prepared to change your course when needed.

We are living times that can feel very fast-moving, volatile and uncertain. How do we prepare ourselves for this uncertain future? What skills will we need? What will the job market look like in 5, 10 or even 20 years? What new technologies are being developed that could create a threat to humanity? Where are the flying cars? Come on already I want one!

Ok, jokes aside, the world is changing. The old structures, silos, and routines that are part of most business’s day to day operations are becoming a hindrance to innovation. We are entering a new epoch that values agility, innovation, and creativity.

Welcome to the age of storytelling. We are standing on the precipice of a new world order, where visionaries will lead through their ability to tell stories. Storytellers are powerful. They create the world that we live in now and the one to come.

So Why Learn To Harness And Tell Your Own Story?

Your business’s organic story is unique. Unlike corporate colours, logos or taglines, it is not a conceptual piece of marketing. It is an organic narrative that unfolds with each passing day. It shifts with each decision, such as, new hires and evolving products and services. It cannot be replicated and it cannot be predicted. It must simply unfold. This is truly powerful when future proofing your brand or business. There can be similarities. But there are no two that are exactly the same. No other business has the exact unique blend of human capital and stories that you have.

Part of imagining where the future is going is understanding our current moment in time. To do this well we must understand our business’s story. It has a cast of characters, plot lines and twists and turns. An authentic and well-crafted story makes your business the main protagonist, as opposed to a secondary character. By focusing on your own story you let the narrative unfold and see how it moves you forward.

This unique story woven through content production, internal communications, presentations, and speeches creates memorable experiences. This attention leads to retention in your client or customer’s memory. This is the most precious real estate that you can own.

Storytelling is future proofing your brand. It is possible to copy a website’s look and feel. A competitor may develop a similar product or service. But no other business will have your experiences or diversity of skills of your unique story.

Let your story do the work. An organic story told slowly over time builds solid relationships and trust. A presentation featuring vision and dreams is always more inspiring than a bar graph. All the growth behind the spikes on the chart could not happen without the vision in the first place.

And the vision comes from the people. The empathy and connections formed via a strong story, allows a company to become agile, to reinvent itself as it changes. It works in partnership with the business and walks alongside it as it forges new paths into the future.

As a chronicler of business’s stories, I have seen this magic unfold again and again. And so I am calling all the brave and bold artists, corporates, business owners and change makers! The best way to predict our futures to create it. Let us all join together and tell the stories of the future we want to create. We have never had such an unprecedented ability to influence and affect our world.

And so I ask you, what story will you tell and where will it take you?

I recently ran an event at ACMI in November, The Evolution of Storytelling. I asked my presenters to explore the possibilities of storytelling in the future. Please have a look at the Hashtag on Twitter or on my Instagram.

3 Steps of Story Led Change Management

Communicating between different teams such as creative and tech can present challenges. Are you are facing this problem within your business or organisation? A simple story may be just the thing you need.

Use the power of stories within your organisation to create a strategic way to inspire, education or motivate your employees, co-workers or clients.

Step 1 – Make Your Staff Heroes

There is a plot device in storytelling called the Hero’s Journey. The mythologist Joseph Campbell coined this term. He says that all stages of a hero’s journey are similar. First, adventure calls a character to accept a journey. The character then try’s to talk himself or herself out of taking the challenge. The call is eventually answered and the hero goes on to meet their destiny. For example, when Clark Kent accepts his extraordinary powers and becomes Superman. The challenge and journey represent the process of becoming yourself. It is also what unlocks your ability to help those around you.

Examine the stories of your staff to uncover their special superpowers. Their stories create connection around their personal and business goals to move them all forward. Stories ‘show’ their co-workers the kind of person they are, what their skills are and what makes each team member unique.

Step 3 – Make Work Meaningful

We all want to belong to something greater than ourselves.

It can be easy to get trapped in patterns or cycles within organisations with long-standing ways of working. Patterns can feel comfortable, but if a team’s goals are not aligned with their current path, it can make them feel impossible.

To make the impossible possible it is important to break free of tired cycles. An outsider’s fresh perspective can identify the well-worn paths under our feet we cannot see. What happens when we decide to leap off this path. Where do we go when this happens?

Leaving a path, to branch off into the unknown can feel like meandering, when in fact it is exploring. Exploring can bring us closer to goals. Staying locked in a cycle eventually leads us back to the beginning of where we started, this is not helpful when change is needed. A helicopter or bird’s eye view is needed as sometimes the cycle is so big it is possible to confuse it for forward motion. If in a year’s time everything feels eerily familiar it is because the cycle was so big it was hard to see the curve in the bend.

A clear vision creates a new path by planning for the future. Discovering that vision as a team makes it feel possible. All change starts with something that feels just beyond our reach, but if we all try just a bit harder we will get there together.

Imagine something that is completely new. Something you didn’t even think was possible. Make it possible and abandon the old cycle, so a new one can be forged!

Be Clear About How You Are Managing Transitions

It can feel unsettling when organisations are in a transition phase. The reality is in life is change is a constant, it is important to focus on making changes that create positive results.

We only know what we know at any given moment. As situations and co-workers around us flux and flow, the direction or the organisation will change.

This process feels better and more comfortable when you are aware that other people are changing as well. Staying flexible and understanding how people and circumstances are changing is very important.

Consider each step into the future as one on a shifting road. To monitor this ensure that part of your change management process includes gathering the stories and sentiments of the staff to understand where they are on their own journey.

Moving from one team or way of working to another can feel like leaping across a chasm. Teaching your team how to build their own bridges is the best way forward.

If you found this useful, please share this with your colleagues! For those of you in Melbourne join me and the Innovators Network on October 11 5:45 pm at the RACV club. Email anamicaroy@outlook.com for more your invitation or more information!

A Story Bridges The Gap From Innovation To Implementation!

Working in an innovation space can feel lonely when only a small number of people outside of your team understand what you are trying to accomplish. Or you are proudly rolling out a new project that solves a client’s problem, but they don’t understand how they fit in the solution. The program may be badly needed, but if the people who need your service don’t understand how it helps them, it won’t succeed. It is impossible to sell a product or service if you cannot clearly define it to your ideal customer, clients or co-workers.

Seeing your concept with an unbiased point of view is sometimes called ‘The Curse of Knowledge”.  While you may understand the value that you deliver if you cannot concisely explain why someone needs your offering getting a ‘yes’ can be very difficult. This applies to work colleagues as well to clients. If you cannot convey why a new process is important or what the changes to a program mean it is very difficult to get people to comply.

We can solve this problem with a strategic narrative.

A narrative strategy distils a complex concept into a simple story to create clarity around a project, product or service. This shareable story assists in forming a culture of understanding around your innovative solution to motivate people to get on board.

Let’s explain this in further detail with a simple story.

Your ‘Story’ needs to cross the bridge that divides a ‘New Project’ from the land of ‘Implementation’. Once the ‘Story’ journeys across this bridge it explains where it is going to people in the land of ‘Implementation’. ‘Story’ is successful on its journey because people in ‘Implementation’ understand how they can help it on its way.

This is how a story can work to bridge the gap between a new product or service and being embraced by clients, colleagues or the community.

True innovation relies on a clear vision for the future. This is where understanding your unique story becomes truly powerful.

Stories are not born spontaneously in a magical puff of smoke; they are shepherded into the world by a guide and supported by a flock. This shepherd is a strategic narrative advisor who creates clarity around the story of your work so it can move into the future.

Creating the world that we will live in tomorrow requires a bridge to connect your vision to a community. Let your story do the work for you.

Let’s chat! Schedule your 15-minute strategy call now!

20 Followers = 20K

Can a Facebook page with 20 followers, make a sale of $20k? This one did.
 
How you ask? We invested in interactive business storytelling on Facebook Live. The client is a postproduction house in Melbourne. The Australian film industry is small, the challenge was to find people who make movies and speak to them.
Our primary audience was tiny and we knew them well. We were able to provide our followers with stories and information that we knew they would find interesting. Because the content was welcomed, we were able to create the mutually beneficial conversations. That is the power of going live. It replaces ‘what does the data say’ with ‘what does the audience say’.
 
The strategy was to produce a series of Facebook Live sessions every two weeks. Each session featured industry professionals such as scriptwriters, editors, audio engineers, film colourists.
 
Before each broadcast, a promo post notified the small Facebook community of the next date for the live stream. One of these teasers was re-posted seven times. A person who had worked with this staff member in the past saw the post and this resulted in a job worth 20k.
 
This all happened before we went live!
 
The live stream was shared with various industry related Facebook groups. People in the groups asked questions, gave feedback and even suggested topics for upcoming Facebook Live sessions.
 
Target your communication. Know who you would like to talk to, know where to find them and then have conversations. 
 
Engagement = sales!
(At the time of writing the page has under 100 followers and continues to add value to the business)
If you would like to learn how to use Facebook Live storytelling for you business check out my workshop with General Assembly Melbourne!

The Birth Of A Storytelling Agency!

“Whatever You Are Seeking Is Seeking You.”

– Rumi

Rumi was a was a 13th-century Persian Sunni Muslim poet, among many other things. He was a very busy and talented man to say the very least. And he wrote the words quoted above. It is hard to imagine, but this statement has travelled through translations and centuries before it appeared in this post. Is it a bit mind boggling isn’t it? But we found each other none the less.

It seems logical and impossible at the same time. But it did, who we are looking for is, in turn, looking for the people who are like us. Rest assured they are out there.

Now the next question is why? Why or how did this statement find me, how did it come to my attention?

For me the answer is – 

  1. I found it interesting
  2. It responded to a question I had around how people manage to find and connect with the right people
  3. It excited my imagination
  4. That excitement lead me to write this so I could share it with you

Sharing content that excites and speaks to you is not new. In fact, this is an ancient practice that predates Facebook! This is why the beautiful poetry of Rumi exists in our world centuries after it was written. As new generations of people find him, they, in turn, share him and so on and so forth.

To spread your message, be like Rumi – 

  1. Fashion a straightforward and inspiring message or story
  2. Share it 
  3. Wait for it to come back to you

I know what you are thinking! How can I become a 13th-century mystic poet? It is ok; you don’t have to. We will take the points I made above and make them work for us in a modern context.

Your story must be simple so that people will remember it. It should also deliver a message that delights the individual who finds it. The surprising power of pleasure is unquantifiable.

I recently listened to a podcast featuring Adam Robinson. Robinson repeatedly stressed that giving the gift of unexpected pleasure will return to you in ways you could never foresee or expect. This will open doors and provide insurmountable opportunities for your future.

This brings me to the reason I am sharing Rumi’s quote with you. I am launching a new style of an agency, a storytelling agency. We do more than digital marketing; we create culture! We are expert storytellers that build relationships to take your business into the future.

We look at you, your business, project or service. We find the best story gems and fashion them into ongoing narrative content. We then find the best way to tell that story as serialised content. Like chapters in a book or the next episode of your favourite TV show. We will have the audience asking, ‘What happened next?’ and coming back for more!

From FacebookLive to newsletters, to a 360-degree video, each story is told through the medium that gives it the most power.

We monitor the story as it evolves to ensure it continues to delight your audience. We want them to share it with their community as well.

And this brings us back to the beginning, whatever you are seeking is seeking you.